Effectiveness of amphibians as biodiversity surrogates in pond conservation

Ilg, Christiane (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Oertli, Beat (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

Amphibian decline has led to worldwide conservation efforts, including the identification and designation of sites for their protection. These sites could also play an important role in the conservation of other freshwater taxa. In 89 ponds in Switzerland, we assessed the effectiveness of amphibians as a surrogate for 4 taxonomic groups that occur in the same freshwater ecosystems as amphibians: dragonflies, aquatic beetles, aquatic gastropods, and aquatic plants. The ponds were all of high value for amphibian conservation. Cross‐taxon correlations were tested for species richness and conservation value, and Mantel tests were used to investigate community congruence. Species richness, conservation value, and community composition of amphibians were weakly congruent with these measures for the other taxonomic groups. Paired comparisons for the 5 groups considered showed that for each metric, amphibians had the lowest degree of congruence. Our results imply that site designation for amphibian conservation will not necessarily provide protection for freshwater biodiversity as a whole. To provide adequate protection for freshwater species, we recommend other taxonomic groups be considered in addition to amphibians in the prioritization and site designation process.

La declinacion de anfibios ha resultado en esfuerzos de conservaci on a nivel mundial, incluyendo a la identificacion y designaci on de sitios para su protecci on. Estos sitios podrıan desempenar un papel importante en la conservacion de otros taxones de agua dulce. Valoramos la efectividad de los anfibios como sustitutos de cuatro grupos taxonomicos que se encuentran en los mismos ecosistemas de agua dulce que los anfibios en 89 estanques en Suiza: libelulas, escarabajos acuaticos, gasteropodos acuaticos y plantas acuaticas. Todos los estanques tenıan un valor alto de conservacion. Las correlaciones entre taxones fueron evaluadas en riqueza de especies y valor de conservacion. Tambien se usaron pruebas de Mantel para investigar la congruencia de la comunidad. La riqueza de especies, el valor de conservacion y la composicion de la comunidad de anfibios fue congruente de forma d´ebil con estas medidas para los otros grupos taxonomicos. Las comparaciones emparejadas para estos cinco grupos considerados mostraron que, por cada medida los anfibios tenıan el grado mas bajo de congruencia. Nuestros resultados implican que la designacion de sitios para la conservacion de anfibios no proporcionara necesariamente proteccion para la biodiversidad de agua dulce en total. Para proporcionar la proteccion adecuada para las especies de agua dulce, recomendamos que otros grupos taxonomicos sean considerados ademas de los anfibios en la priorizacion y el proceso de designacion de sitio.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Ingénierie et Architecture
School:
HEPIA - Genève
Institute:
inTNE - Institut Terre-Nature-Environnement
Date:
2016-08
Pagination:
9 p.
Published in:
Conservation Biology
Numeration (vol. no.):
2016, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 437-445
DOI:
ISSN:
0888-8892
Appears in Collection:

Note: The status of this file is: restricted


 Record created 2020-08-14, last modified 2020-10-27

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